The one big topic of conversation these days are the unrolled posters with hate messages, which almost caused matches to be abandoned here and there. Of course, all this is no coincidence and the continuation of the story, since it is “the big topic”, also has its understandable causes. It’s just that you have to look a little closer and not just point your fingers and say, as everyone does in unison, and whoever does it is so right and he belongs to it and “the others” are excluded. It’s great how united we suddenly are. But they don’t ask what is actually behind it, how it comes about, what it has to do with the media, with the way football is presented, with the general dissatisfaction of people with their once beloved game “football”, with the development of the rules or the pure demand for results, without taking into account the sport, the sporting competition, the fairness, the friendly interaction with each other. It would be high time to wake up and get to the bottom of the real causes – and then to remedy them.
Now, quite a lot of what can be identified as the cause has already emerged in the long sentence, but which is not treated as “the big issue”. The posters that have been rolled out with such unpleasant messages on them are ultimately only symptoms, sick outgrowths as a result of years of sweeping the actual sources of illness under the carpet. Football IS sick. And basically everyone feels that it no longer brings them any joy. But not as a result of these messages. There is much more behind it.
The fans are dissatisfied. The dissatisfaction is increasing. Almost daily. The atmosphere in the stadiums is heated. Goals are no longer cheered, they are “pure relief”. People do not rejoice in beautiful actions. Only the outcome of the action is interesting. Football has been declared a “pure results sport” by the media. They follow this maxim, the fan is forced to adopt this jargon. He no longer HAS to enjoy beautiful football, he HAS to enjoy “dirty victories”. After two defeats in a row, he is first allowed to whistle – “legalised” by the media – and then he is allowed to shout “coach out”. Or he even has to do it. The video assistant should bring justice, at least a higher degree of it. No one can feel that way – but it persists. With daily new sick excesses of injustice that you can’t stand. And if you speak out about it, as a fan, because everything that is happening is just junk, and draw attention to an injustice, then you are not heard – no matter how right you are. Because: you were biased and only say this because your own team was adversely affected.
It stinks to high heaven, the whole of football and everything that happens on the pitch, and Otto Rehhagel was the first to recognise it: the media are to blame for everything. Even if one may slightly defuse this sentence to “they are responsible for it all”, the message remains the same. And as we all know, the fish stinks from the head. The media set the tone, and those responsible cannot help but bow to the power of the media.
So the fans are dissatisfied. They are increasingly dissatisfied. They are in a heated atmosphere. Somewhere this seeks an outlet and it finds one. Apart from that, a certain clientele is attracted by the uncharitable, heartless reporting and the many injustices they have to feel every day. Or better: the few who have not yet been scared away remain because they accept it. But only up to a certain point. Then there is too much pressure on the kettle. Then it has to come out – and it shows itself in these messages. And if it can’t be contained, but the other way round, even more of it happens, then this is also proof of the power of the media: they give the big topic, the people who wanted to release the pressure realise that now and here they can have their big stage and their big appearance, are grateful for the high level of attention they suddenly get – and repeat it.
But let’s take a look if there is a message behind these posters, apart from releasing pressure? And it is very easy to find one. It’s not because you don’t like Leipzig or Hoffenheim or whoever else invests money and buys success. It’s much more that the “honest work” and decades of tradition that other clubs have built up in the Bundesliga, with a lot of heart and soul and a lot of suffering and also money that the fan has invested, is not appreciated and doesn’t seem to pay off. Someone comes along, forks out a few hundred million – and poof, in a few years’ time those promoted in this way are at the top of the table without a single drop of sweat and the slightest bit of pain and without any tradition.
Bayer Leverkusen, christened the “Werkself” and also struggling for recognition for decades but now accepted into the circle of “traditional clubs”, had made a start. Perhaps together with Bayer Uerdingen, but only one was able to hold on. Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt are other examples where external money was pumped in and partial successes actually resulted. There are certainly a few more, of course, as well as unsuccessful projects of this kind.
It is just that much more traditional clubs such as Alemannia Aachen, Rot Weiß Essen, München 60, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Braunschweig – to name but a few – have slipped down several divisions. A rebellion against big investors is at the same time a declaration of solidarity towards these traditional clubs: we would rather have them in the Bundesliga than all these retort clubs. That’s more or less how the message is interpreted at first.
And one is allowed to think about it. Provided you find a part of the truth in it. It’s nothing new that the fans oppose these clubs. They struggle for recognition, which – see Leverkusen – they have to work for over a few decades. And even then, it might remain respect coupled with envy rather than genuine affection.
But this also says something about football: the traditional clubs are fighting for survival. Because the supposedly gigantic business of football does not yield sufficient profits to build up a good team on that alone. The business is not as big as people pretend. They are trying to find new markets and sources of income at every turn – but they are finding it extremely difficult to do so. The fans are perhaps not as numerous as they should be in order to finance big business. And they won’t let themselves be milked any further, and perhaps they don’t even have enough milk left to squeeze out. It can ONLY be done with external money. And most of those who pump in money from outside remain what they actually want to be understood as: they are investors. They invest money in order to get more back later. The fact that many of these projects are likely to fail (or have already failed in some cases) does not change the fact that they are at least trying and have not yet realised that football is actually on the drip (of these investors). If they realise that they would have basically invested, as in the stock market in a falling share, then this drip could soon be turned off as well.
So the fans are unhappy. They are unhappy with the rules, with the coverage and with the game itself. They are venting their anger. An almost arbitrary cause is being taken. If it wasn’t that, it would be something else. The heckling with the “Sh… DFB”, which have been heard often enough before, were ignored, passed over. It wasn’t just one person, or why is that ignored or ignored? The enormous imbalance, which is additionally caused by the many external billions (Manchester City or Paris Saint Germain, just as further examples), causes further discontent. “What should we do about it? No, it’s unfair.” But they may not even be able to articulate it properly. Only: even if they could, to name the reasons for the discontent – which at the same time, as stacked up here, is very complex : they would not be listened to either way. They, as fans, are considered “biased”.
One likes to read a little more closely: “Broke your promise because of a h…son – no collective punishments!”
That’s a message, besides the personal insult. I think the message is clear. But it would not be understood either way. Even without the insult. So you simply include it. Maybe THEN people will take a closer look? Also not. Anyway, let’s do it again and again and again.